Angola calls for reform of African Development Bank

17 May 2007

Shanghai, China, 17 May – Angola’s finance minister has called for reforms to the African Development Bank (ADB, saying the institution is based on outdated development policies that do not bear results.

“The ADB has to be restructured to tackle the question of poverty reduction in Africa,” José Pedro de Morais told Portuguese news agency Lusa at the annual general meeting of the bank in the Chinese city of Shanghai.

“The bank’s policies are still strongly influenced by guidelines that for a long time advised African states not to invest to maintain macroeconomic stability. Therefore, our countries have not managed to create infrastructures allowing development of the market and private initiative. And this is what our countries need in the combat of poverty,” said the Luanda minister, leading his country’s delegation to the meeting.

The ADB is holding its yearly board meeting outside Africa for the second time in its 43-year history, after Madrid hosted the event in 2001. Angola’s finance minister told the gathered central bank chiefs and finance ministers from Africa that China offered a different development model and one with better results than those offered by the traditional international credit institutions.

“Nobody doubts that China has taken more people out of poverty in the last 10 years than the World Bank programs have done in the past 50,” said Morais.

Shanghai, China’s economic hub, is hosting the AGM of the ADB Wednesday and Thursday , bringing together senior financial officials from 53 African states, as well as representatives from 24 non-African countries and officials from major financial institutions, and three heads of state including President Pedro Pires of Cape Verde. (macauhub)